Thursday, 19 April 2012


Sometimes I sit down and try to take stock of my life and it's numerous stages. It amazes me to see how far I have come even in the midst of the storm. God is indeed faithful to those who love and serve him.
Growing up was a bit funny for me outside the walls of my home. I grew up in a wonderfully balanced family with a lot of love and care from both my parents who were bankers, my older sisters who taught me so much and even my late kid brother even though his time was short. For some reason I thought there was something wrong with me and I will tell you why. I realized that, in school my name always came up whether or not I was a part of the issue. People just loved to talk about me, most of the time it was more negative than positive. Even if I was not guilty of whatever they accused me of, they would still go on and on. This was such a huge problem to me as a young girl, to the point that I was not able to enjoy boarding school. I thought the world hated me and i did not fit in, and that was when I heard that people called me an "OSU", which means OUTCAST, just because of my surname. That actually made me laugh at the end of the day seeing that most people did not even know the origin or history of my name.

As funny as this might sound I started avoiding people, I did not want to make friends so I had only two of them. Deep inside my heart I would think hard and try to trace the source of these issues. It made me believe the saying "there is no smoke without fire", so for people to say all this about me there must have been things I did that triggered the talk and the hatred. Now I know better because the world has changed so much that all you need to do to attract so much hatred and jealousy, is to EXIST. After thinking so for so long I arrived at the same answer as before which was "I am not a bad person and I have not done anything to deserve this". No matter how hard I tried to believe my truth, people just had a way of putting me in a box. This was entirely my fault because now I know for sure that no one can put you in a box unless you let them.

After so many years of being paranoid about what people were saying about me, I finally opened up to my parents. My mother laughed so hard that I wondered if she heard a word of what I said. That was when my father (God rest his soul) looked at me and said "have you taken a good look at yourself in the mirror? Have you not noticed how beautiful you are, or are you saying you do not know you are intelligent"? At that point I just felt it was a normal encouragement line that a parent would give his child to make them feel better, but I soon realized it was far from it. Then he said "can't you see that you are different because you are special? Do you need anyone to tell you how blessed you are?
I looked at him and said "but daddy if I am all these things, how come people say all these bad things about me? At this point I was almost crying, but in his usual way he looked at me and said "my friend! Will you stand firm and listen to me? You and your sisters are special, in fact very rare in a good way. You are like further mathematics". "Ah ah daddy what is further mathematics doing in this matter?" I had to ask that question to know we were on the same page.

My dad went ahead to explain, he said "further mathematics is a subject just like every other one, there is nothing evil or bad about it but people hate it so much. They hate it because they believe it is very difficult. Now it is difficult for them because they don't understand it. People hate what they don't understand and the truth is that only very few patient and intelligent people will diligently study and understand it. When they do, they become geniuses and professors. So if people don't understand you and can't place a tag on you, they will see you as a difficult thing. Most people might not know how to handle your intimidating presence even when you don't say a word. As a result they will end up saying negative things about you since they can't stand the strength of your existence. “So my dear why don't you focus your energy on the few who understand you and the positive things your existence should bring?"
    That day changed my whole life so much, I was so grateful to my father for what he taught me.

As I was about to leave, my mother called me and said "there are three types of people in this world

A: those who were born to be talked about because of who they are
B: those who were born to talk about others because that is all they are
C: those who were born to observe because they don't know who they are

Which one would you rather be my dear?"

I smiled because I knew that I was a TYPE A.

After that day I promised myself that I would never allow people who don't even know me, make me feel like I was not worth it. It is very easy to sit down and talk about others, judge them and try to destroy their reputation. In actual fact your problems are much bigger than you can carry, so you use idle talk to run away from your own issues. Guess what, after you are done talking about others, your problem that has been chilling on your bed will be waiting for you to come back and give it a big hug.
When you think about life, you might have a different analogy about God, the world and man.

This is how I see it; God the creator sets a mini clock on every human being, he opens his big shopping mall which is the earth. Then he gives us all a shopping list to go into the shopping mall and buy everything on our list. He also sets the clock to a time which he knows should be enough for us to finish our shopping. Bear in mind that everybody has a different list, and from the moment he hands you the money (talent, skills, health, wisdom, brain, etc) and your list, your own clock starts to count.

So imagine that we have all come to this shopping mall, you see Stella walking in and out of shops buying the things on her list. Then you stop and start to laugh at her ugly shoes, you call your friends and start to talk about the old fashioned chair she bought. Stella walks past you again and you start to laugh at her cheap weavon and the fact that there is too much blue in her eye shadow. In all of this you are so caught up in your psycho analysis and gossip about Stella, that you forget that your clock is still ticking away. Meanwhile the person you are talking about is trying her possible best to buy everything on her shopping list, and make it back home early before she runs out of time.

This is what will happen; Stella will finish buying the items in her list, and go home right on time. On the flip side, you who have wasted more than half your own time following someone around, so eventually, you will not be able to finish buying the things on your list before the shop closes and your time is up. A lot of people have filled up the graves with DEAD DREAMS and VISIONS. They spend the life Span and energy God has given them for their own purpose on others and waste time minding other people's business.

It is so sad and painful but most importantly it does not make sense to me especially for adults.
Some people say it is as a result of joblessness but I disagree. I insist that if you have time to talk about others, then you should have time to try and discover yourself, spend time knowing who you are.

What is your purpose on earth?
What are you supposed to be doing at this point in your life?
Are you Satisfied with where you are right now?
Are you doing what you have always wanted to do?
Are you adding value to people around you?
Are you ready to take your situation to the next level?
What do you want to be remembered for?
What are your ambitions?
Have you accomplished up to half the things you set for yourself?

Trust me  if you spend your time trying to answer all these questions and work on them, you will find that you won't have time for idle talk, you Will also realize that you don't have enough hours in a day to do the things you really want to do especially the things that you love.

My question to you is "what type of person are you"?

TYPE A, B or C

I know who I am and I have no apologies for it. So I hope you will make it out of the shopping mall at the right time with your items complete.


Stella’s Quote of the day : Don't waste your life on others with idle talk, spend it on you because you are worth your own time.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Indecent Dressing

I was at a popular shopping mall with my kids a while ago buying pizza.  My children decided to go into the department store so they could see the latest "wii" game  if any.  As I was about to join them, someone tapped my shoulder and said please Madam Stella, forgive me for being so rude I would like to talk to you and it’s urgent.  I said ok no problem what can I do for you?  She said can we go to a quiet corner so we can talk better? I said  “ok as long as it’s not away from where I can at least keep an eye on my kids.  So we walked in and she brought out a magazine, flipped through and pointed at a lady that was almost nude all in the name of fashion.  She said she wanted to talk to me because she knew that I was familiar with the person in the magazine.  I already new where she was going and started laughing.  She got offended and wondered why I found it funny.  She then started to raise her voice, saying that those of us that are role models are supposed to be setting good examples, which was very true, and that she has seen over five pictures of me at different events and am always properly dressed and according to her "covered up",  which was also true.

I agreed with her and told her I was laughing because I had seen that particular magazine and already had a conversation about it with my sisters and a few of my good friends.  One of my friends actually said “the beautiful ones are always properly and decently dressed but the ugly, insecure, non intelligent and shapeless ones are the ones who flaunt those worn out, stretch marked, oversized, body parts that should be left covered”.That was actually the major reason I laughed and by the time I finished the woman was laughing harder than I was.  We walked across and sat by the food court and started chatting.  Her worries were very justified because she had a sixteen year old daughter who would do anything to become and actress and singer, she has been attending vocal classes just to show her seriousness.  Her mum was rightfully worried because her role models are “guess who?”; those same ladies in the entertainment world who give off wrong signals.

It’s a free world we all know that, and people have freedom of expression; we don’t have the right to judge or criticize people; one man’s meat is another man’s poison; this is the 21st century; you must belong so that you can be a happening babe; and so on and so forth.  True fact, but at whose expense? I love Asa’s song titled “Fire on the mountain: especially the part where she said “who’s responsible for what we teach our children”, “is it the internet or the stars on television?” why oh why. It's one of my favorite songs so forgive me if I use it all the time. We forget that regardless of civilization, exposure and status; we are still first of all Africans with values, culture e.t.c.  Believe it or not these are the things that amaze the western world because they don’t have that.  They want to know the way we live, how we think, the way we dress, the way we talk, our tradition and culture, the peculiarity of our film making. They have turned African tradition and culture to major courses in foreign universities, it is mystery to them.

While these are happening we are busy trying to loose all that just to be like them by all means.  Most of the copy cats have never even seen the inside of the international airport.  It’s basically information from television and magazines.  This is  really really sad because they think that when you are almost nude, every man will want to get with you right? WRONG!   You enjoy all the attention yes but try to tell him to introduce you to his family even as just a friend, then just watch out for his reaction.  Trust me the opposite sex will nearly kill his sister or his wife if they dress like that, but they will let you do it because to them you are just a piece of meat.  My mother always used to tell me “Dress the way you want to be addressed”.
I went to the one of the cinema houses sometime last year and saw 4 girls in their uniforms that were carrying nap sacks.  They called out my name in excitement and ran to me to sign autographs which I gladly did. They left me and I saw an old friend of mine who started chatting with me.  In less that ten minutes these same girls came out of the restroom and my jaw dropped with my eyes bulging out in horror.  They were wearing serious hot micro daisy duke shorts with halter neck half tops.  I couldn’t handle it and it just occurred to me that they packed extra clothes in their bags went to school and came straight from school to the cinema.  My first question to my friend was “is there a dress code that I don’t know about for cinema now or is something wrong somewhere? People don’t go into cold cinema halls half naked so they are obviously not there to watch a movie and there was certainly no party there because trust me I actually checked for any event that I did not know of.

When young girls dress like that what do you think they are trying to achieve if not attention.  You know that they will definitely not get the right kind of attention.  My heart started beating fast and I said a quick prayer asking God to give me the wisdom to train my kids the way my mum trained us.  These girls could not have been more than fourteen and that was scary.  We need to tell ourselves the truth. I’m going to take time out to explain some of the reasons why this happens and how we could make it better.  We should not condemn ladies who dress like that because some of them are going through Psychological issues, leaving in self denial and have lost every ounce of confidence and self esteem to the point where they are screaming “Attention”! To be noticed.

Some of the reasons that I have discovered are: -
1. Upbringing: - this mostly is caused by the way the child is raised and what she is exposed to at an early age.  As we know the biggest influence on kids is television.  Most parents don’t bother to control what their kids are watching and learning e.g. some music videos are not appropriate for kids because it has become a nude affair and since it is played in the minds of these kids they begin to think it is normal and acceptable especially when no adult is preventing them from watching and telling them it is not right.  The parents and older siblings also have to be careful with their own dressing because kids tend to emulate the older ones.  Another thing that worries me is the fact that some mothers are actually the ones who buy these clothes for their young daughters.  They are the ones that even tell them the names like, daisy dukes, tank tops, halters, strapless, British cores, hipster, low waist jeans that shows the crack of the butt, balloon micro and a host of others.

2. Exposure: - a lot of parents pride themselves with the fact that they can afford the best things in life for their kids which is very good.  But they have to be careful what they expose their kids to at an early age.  For instance, some parents need to realise that at a certain age there are some places they their young daughters should not go to and there are some friends they cannot be extremely close to.  This might sound harsh but trust me the saying “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are” is very strong.  My daughter was invited to the shopping mall by her classmate whom she said was also a friend and I insisted that the child minder and my second daughter must accompany her.  Hours later when they came back it was my younger daughter that told me that the girl who invited them was wearing the kind of shorts I said they cannot wear.  I called the minder so she could explain and she said the girl was wearing hot pants and was pointing at a bottle in the alcohol stand saying that her dad allowed her to drink that adult drink and it was very nice.  Of course my older daughter came to me and said, “Mum her shorts had Hanna Montana designs on them and they were really nice”.  When I got up and gave my daughter “the look” (she understands that look very well), nobody told her to end her statement with “(but then again it was just too short and I didn’t like that)”.  I had to refuse any more gatherings or meetings between my kids and the girl in question because I could only imagine what a little girl her age would already have been exposed to.  Kids learn faster from their pears and television.  This brings me to the next one.

3. Peer Pressure: - This is the most common one because young girls who are not properly grounded at home can be very gullible.  They want to belong, they don't want to be laughed at or ignored; so once they see other girls doing it, getting away with it and attracting the opposite sex,  they believe it’s the way forward. I have seen young girls who would rather starve, or not pay for exams or even medicals, than to miss out on the newest skimpy skirt or cleavage showing tops just so they feel accepted by others who are neck deep into it.  If a young girl does not follow this trend they are called “old fashioned”, “old school”, “mama Africa”, “sister mary”, “ITK”, “booky” and so on.  No young girl wants her peers to call her that, so automatically they would conform.

4. Psychological: - there are various psychological reasons that push young girls into this mode.  A lot of young girls cannot handle pressure.  It breaks them down.  Most of them have parents that are not their friends and therefore cannot share their thoughts and concerns.  You find that most of them either bottle these things up and then explode one day and do the extreme; or they avoid the psychological trauma by following others so they are not different.

5. Some young girls have gone through a lot at a tender age which has really disturbed them psychologically.  Some have low self esteem, some feel they are not appreciated because they are not as pretty as their sisters or friends; others feel because their parents insult them with words like “ you good for nothing girl”, you are useless in this house e.t.c.  The only thing they are good for is using their bodies to attract men to make money so they can be useful.  Some actually have said that they were crazy and revealing clothes to make up for other areas of their bodies that are not so nice e.g. face.

You would be surprised that when you listen to most of these young girls talk about reasons behind what they do; instead of judging or insulting them you would be compelled to help them because most of them are misguided and some have been physically and mentally abused.  So this for them is their way of rebelling and punishing their folks. We need to find a way of showing them that we are not judging them but we want to help. They have to be taught that "people protect what they love, cherish and respect. So if you treat your body like it's an object or a tool to get something by exposing it and showing the whole world things that should be covered, then it means that you don't love, cherish and respect your body".

It is also our responsibility as celebrities, role models, house hold names etc to set good examples and shown the younger generation that decency is very important. We tend to forget that we are being watched especially by these young girls who want to be like us. They copy whatever we do, how we walk, talk, dress, behave and even our expressions. We have tone careful with the way we do things that influence the impressionable minds. These young girls will listen to their favorite stars and emulate them more than their own mothers or sisters.

A lot of people may hate me or call me names because of this article but like I always say, these are my thoughts and my opinion. I have a responsibility and that is to speak the truth that I know.
Let us try to mentor these girls even when it seems they are not interested.

Stella's Quote of the day: Dress the way you want to be addressed.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Action Cut

Hey Guys,

Index Two Studios (run by my partner Daniel Ademinokan and I) organised  a FREE one day intensive training seminar on Acting & Directing for Film and TV, on the 31st of March 2012 in Abuja. It was so much FUN so I thought I should share some of the pictures with you.
 Me.. Teaching the Acting class

Daniel Ademinokan teaching the Directing class

Our students in the hall 

Fun moments during the seminar

The students doing an Acting exercise

Our Students again

More acting lectures

The Students flaunt their Certificates of Attendance

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Nannies - "Things You Should Know"

Good to be here again and thank you to all who have been following and reading my columns. I was going over some articles I had written about two years ago, and it shocked me because they are all so relevant now. So I have decided to do a flashback edition and share it with you.


They are like men, can’t live with them, and can’t live without them.  Has it not amazed you how all of a sudden nannies have become essential commodities in our lives?  Nowadays even with house helps almost every home in the country with kids all have nannies.  Even housewives go all out to look for these females that have become substitute mothers.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about such a sensitive issue but with the things that are happening around, it is becoming so alarming that there is a need to look into it.
I have often wondered when this whole nanny craze started and if our mothers and grandmothers employed these people.  It just seemed like this all started when the whole “Career Woman” mentality started coming out in full force but later I began to feel that it was as a result of the decline in the economy.I know that there was a time when the man of the house would go to work and provide for his family and all the woman had to do was stay home and look after the children, but after the decline in economy and the problems of maintaining a standard of living, the men started encouraging their wives to work so they could both make enough and jointly provide for the children.  So when this happened, it gave rise to the employment of both young and elderly women who would then take care of the children.  This is not the case with everyone though.
Anyway I just wanted to share some things with you concerning this Nanny issue.  It is important to have someone to stay with your kid(s) whilst you are away especially if they are young and need attention but my own worry about this whole thing is that a lot of us are not careful enough in choosing the right kind of nannies.  I remember that some time ago,  women use to get them through their parents from villages, but all of a sudden it became a lucrative business where we now have people who call themselves “agents” for domestic staff” if you notice most of these agents hardly have offices or contact addresses, just a phone number so how are you able to track them down in case you can’t reach them on phone.  I got talking to one of these agents and started asking some questions and I was shocked at her response.  
First question I asked was: -
1) These nannies that you send to people’s homes, do you ever go to their homes and talk to their people to really know the kind of people they are?
Response:​She said “Ah they are too many of them now! How can they be going to their villages and  houses one by one to investigate?  Do you know how long that will take? Who will pay for all the movement?
2) Second question – so how do you know the kind of women you are sending to people’s homes.
Response: We just interview them and pray that they are good girls.
3) My last question was: - what if they turn out to be thieves or do something harmful to the children and take-off, what happens?
Response: Most of the time they come to arrest us but then this is Nigeria we have a way of bailing ourselves out.
I would have asked more questions but at that point I knew that if I had continued I would probably have been so furious that I may even become rude because she responded like “these things happen all the time, why are you looking and acting surprised”?I’m talking about this now as a result of some incidents that happened on the Island some weeks back.
A 34 year old woman lost two of her children to HIV because the nanny spent all her salary buying recharge card for her driver boyfriend and could not afford to replace her worn-out tooth brush, so she decided to share the children’s tooth brush and to worsen it she would make the children do the brushing for her in form of a game “who can brush aunty sumbo’s teeth better”.  The nanny had Gingivitis and did not know what it was, so did not complain for it to be treated.
 It was reported in the papers that the son of a Local Govt. chairman was infected with a sexually transmitted disease by his nanny and he is 12 years old.
Another woman who lives in Ajah attended an event where I performed and was lamenting to her friends how the driver and the nanny would go and pick the kids from school and instead of taking them home they would drive to a “short time” hotel leave the children at the reception for  two hours while they take a room and “arrange themselves” if you know what I mean, not caring what could happen to these kids in the space of two hours.
Or is it the ones that go into homes with the mission to steal your husbands, sometimes actually using diabolic means.  But the truth is, even with all these we still need them in our homes.  Some people might not agree, especially the men but that is an argument for another day. 

Before I forget, my sister attended a church where she heard that some children had died due to carelessness of domestic staff and there was a woman there who started distributing some fliers.  When my sister brought it home I found some interesting information in there that I want to share, it reads: -
Beloved parents, I know we love our children and want what is best for them, but does our lifestyle truly support what is best for them? Or do we expose them to physical, emotional, spiritual and social risk?
Do we:-
 Ensure that care givers (nannies) we leave them with are safe and carry out our instructions for our children to the latter? It does not matter if they are relatives or not.  Please read Guardian of Thursday Feb 21, 2008 on Sexual Abuses being suffered by children through care givers.
 Ensure that young children (male or female) are accompanied by responsible adults when they are being taken to school by the driver.
 Familiarize ourselves with T.V programmes; internet sites and reading materials our children patronize to ensure they are wholesome and safe?
 Know their friends and listen closely to their view in order to understand or children as individuals.
 Teach them life principles and strategies for survival by providing answers to questions they might otherwise find wrong answers for from outsiders.
 Put our family first before our careers and less important social goals or do we mortgage quality time with our spouse and children only to wonder where we went wrong if the children or our relationship with our spouse turns out wrong.
Most importantly teach our children about God our father, leading them to the foot of the cross to meet our savior Jesus Christ so they are armed with protection from God. Choosing a nanny is one of the most important yet one of the most difficult decisions you will make as a parent. A lot of people advice that going with your gut is most effective but after speaking to loads of parents we discovered that you must follow most if not all of these tips.

1.As soon as they walk into the house for their first interview please look out for body language. Can they look straight into your eyes when you talk to them or do they look away? How about the way they answer your first few questions?

2. Please always ask about their experience, how long they have provided such services and their last place of employment. Then proceed to ask for the reason why they left. You are most likely going to here things like ‘my boss and his family got transfered or relocated; or you will here my boss stopped working or was sacked and sent me back to the village cos they could not afford my salary. The funniest one i have heard is my madam was very wicked to me and she did not like me because her husband gave me money to give my mother so she beat me up and so on. At this point you need to ask for references, make sure you have contact details of a member of her family apart from that of the agent which is mandatory. Try and locate the address of both parties in case of anything.
On that first day ask them about their history, all the works especially number of siblings and if their parents are alive cos i know of some of them whose mothers died twice and they had to go for burial.
Chat with your kids and get them to be free around you. Ask them about events of the day but make sure you do that at times when you are alone.
Ask your nanny to lead the prayers at least once a week regardless of your denomination, guide the prayer points so he or she will follow that line.
Very importantly get an i d card for them and keep a copy with you. Prepare a document with all their particulars and have them sign.
1) Take her to your hospital and do and HIV test, pregnancy test and test for any disease that might be serious.
2) Make sure you know at least two people that are her relatives.
3) You need to know where she lives (family house or  her base)
4) Get guarantors and confirmation from the last person she worked with.
5) You might want to take her to your place of worship for prayers.
6) I don’t think it’s advisable to let her sleep in the same room with you kids till at least after the first month.
7) Try and be responsible for her toiletries and do a routine check through her things.  This might sound harsh and old fashion but you might be shocked at what you might find.
8) If you have a son who is about ten and above you might want him to start doing things himself because they are normally victims of sexual abuse.
If she has no reason to enter your matrimonial bedroom then let her stay out of it
9) Short dresses, tight jeans, eyeliners, lipsticks and weave-on, these are things that you might allow unconsciously but think about this – who are they trying to impress, why is there a need for all that when their priority is to the Job which is to take care of children.
10) Do not encourage off days to frequently without knowing where exactly they would be.
11) Look out for skin discoloration and bloating.

These are not meant to scare you but just for all of us to be more careful because the world is no longer what it is meant to be. I am not claiming this will prevent anything but I believe it’s a step in the right direction And trust me the safety of our children is worth all the trouble.  Good luck to you all.

Stella's Quote of the day: Don't let your quest for success and money come before your most important duty "caring for your family"